Tours of Excellence
Tours of Excellence
Tours of Excellence

10 Day - Garden Tour of England, UK

Day One - Great Comp Gardens - Kent
Arrive into Heathrow Airport and take the transfer for a visit to Great Comp, one of the finest gardens in the county, comprising of ruins, terraces, tranquil woodlands walks and sweeping lawns with a breathtaking collection of trees, shrubs, heathers and perennials. On then to your accommodation in Kent and this will be your base for the next 3 nights.

Day Two - Yew Tree Cottage - Penshurst Place - Hever Castle & Gardens - Kent
Enjoy a morning visit to privately owned Yew Tree Cottage, a small English private country cottage garden, full of unusual plants and opening as part of the National Gardens Scheme. Take the short journey for an afternoon visit to Penshurst Place, one of England's greatest family-owned stately homes with a history going back six and a half centuries. The gardens, first laid out in the 14th century have been developed over successive years by the Sidney family who first came to Penshurst in 1552. A twenty-year restoration and re-planting programme undertaken by the late Viscount De L'Isle has ensured that they retain their historic splendour. This will be followed by an afternoon visit to Hever Castle & Gardens and the spectacular gardens were laid out between 1904 and 1908 by Joseph Cheal & Son, turning marshland into the spectacular gardens you see today. One of the most magnificent areas of the gardens is the Italian Garden, which was designed to display William Waldorf Astor's collection of Italian sculpture. Over 1,000 men worked on the great design with around 800 men digging out the 35 acre lake at the far end of the Italian Garden - taking two years to do so! Within four years the 30 acres of classical and natural landscapes were constructed and planted. The garden is only now reaching its full maturity and includes the colourful walled Rose Garden which contains over 3,000 plants. There are many water features around the gardens, including Half Moon Pond, the Cascade Rockery, the cool and shady grottoes, the formal loggia fountain based on the Trevi fountain in Rome, and the more informal Two Sisters Pond. Other areas that you can stroll through include the Tudor Garden, Rhododendron Walk and along Anne Boleyn's Walk with its collection of trees planted over 100 years ago. Return to your accommodation for overnight.

Day Three - Groombridge Place Gardens - Scotney Castle Gardens - Kent
Today enjoy a morning visit to Groombridge Place Gardens, first laid out in 1674 on a gentle south-facing slope and the formal walled gardens are set against the romantic backdrop of a medieval moat. The award winning gardens include magnificent herbaceous borders, a secret garden with deep shade and cooling waters in a tiny hidden corner, Paradise Walk and Oriental Gardens, the Knot Garden and Nut Walk and the Drunken Garden with its crazy topiary. This will be followed by an afternoon visit to Scotney Castle Garden, one of England's most romantic gardens designed by Edward Hussey in the picturesque style. Dramatic vistas from the terrace of the new Scotney Castle, built in the 1830's, lead down to the ruins on a 14th century moated castle. Return to your accommodation for overnight.

Day Four - Sissinghurst Castle Gardens - Great Dixter House and Gardens - Sussex
Morning visit to one of the world's most celebrated gardens, Sissinghurst Castle Gardens. The gardens are the creation of Vita Sackville-West and her husband using the surviving remains of the Elizabethan mansion. This will be followed by a visit to Great Dixter House and Gardens, birthplace of the gardening author, Christopher Lloyd. The gardens feature the famous Long Border and Exotic Garden as well as a variety of topiary, pools and wild meadow areas. Check-in at your hotel for overnight.

Day Five - Exbury Gardens - New Forest
Depart for the journey to the New Forest for a visit to Exbury Gardens, a spectacular 200 acre woodland garden showcasing the world famous Rothchild collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. Enjoy some leisure time to explore the New Forest before checking in at your hotel overnight.

Day Six - Beaulieu - Stourhead - Bath
Today enjoy a visit to Beaulieu, set in the heart of the New Forest and has been the ancestral home of the Montagu's since 1538. During your visit there will be an opportunity to visit the Palace House, Abbey, Gardens and the world famous National Motor Museum, which traces the story of motoring from 1894 to the present day. Depart the New Forest the journey to Bath, stopping en route for a visit to Stourhead, the world famous 18th century landscape garden with Palladian mansion, parkland, woods and chalk downs. Check-in at your hotel for overnight.

Day Seven - Bath
After breakfast taken an open top bus tour of the City, to include the major sights, before enjoying the rest of the day at leisure for some independent sightseeing.

Day Eight - Cotswolds - Painswick Rococo Garden - Sudeley Castle
Depart Bath for the journey into the picturesque honey stone coloured Cotswolds villages for a visit to Painswick Rococo Garden, a unique 18th century garden restoration set in a hidden Cotswold valley. On then for an afternoon visit to Sudeley Castle for a visit to the enchanting award winning gardens and the highlights include the Queens Garden, famous for its topiary and collection of old fashioned roses, the semi-Mediterranean planting in the Secret Garden and the intricate Tudor Knot Garden. Overnight will be at your Cotswolds hotel.

Day Nine - Blenheim Palace - Heathrow Airport
Time to explore the lovely picturesque Cotswolds villages before a visit to Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The original gardens were designed by Queen Anne's gardener Henry Wise, with later additions by Lancelot Capability Brown, which included the creation of Blenheim's most outstanding feature, the lake. Take the final journey to Heathrow Airport for overnight.

Day Ten - Home
To the airport for your return flight home.

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